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MLB free agency: Brandon Nimmo returns to Mets on eight-year, $162 million deal, per report

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The New York Mets have reached an agreement with outfielder Brandon Nimmo on an eight-year deal worth $162 million that will see him return to the club, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post

Nimmo, 29, enjoyed a short foray into free agency and drew interest from a variety of teams, including the Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays, and Toronto Blue Jays. Nevertheless, he’ll return to the only franchise he’s played for as a professional. In parts of seven big-league seasons, he’s batted .269/.385/.441 (130 OPS+) while amassing 17.2 Wins Above Replacement, per Baseball Reference’s calculations.

Coming into the offseason, CBS Sports ranked Nimmo as the seventh best free agent on the market. Here’s what we wrote at the time:

Juan Soto. Freddie Freeman. Bryce Harper. Aaron Judge. Paul Goldschmidt. What do those five players have in common? They’re the only batters with at least 1,000 plate appearances during the Pandemic Era to reach base more frequently than Nimmo did. He’s more than a pretty on-base: he’s made improvements both as a center fielder and as a platoon-disadvantaged hitter, as the last two seasons have represented two of his three best single-season performances versus southpaws. If there is a stain on his T-shirt, it’s his durability. Nimmo has appeared in more than 100 games just twice (thrice if you prorate his 2020 campaign over 162 games). The body doesn’t tend to grow more durable as one ages, but Nimmo’s top-of-the-order bat and middle-of-the-field glove should net him a lucrative long-term deal anyway. 

Nimmo is the latest addition in what’s been a busy week for the Mets. They’ve also added starting pitchers Justin Verlander and José Quintana to replace departing free-agent starters Jacob deGrom (Rangers) and Taijuan Walker (Phillies). The Mets completed a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday to net them lefty reliever Brooks Raley, too.

The Mets would not seem to be done yet. Rather, they would seemingly still be in the market for another starter, be it Chris Bassitt, Kodai Senga, or someone else. It’s to be seen if those efforts prove fruitful. 

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